Inspector James F. Kobel of the New York Police Department has been fired after an internal investigation found he was behind a bunch of racist, sexist, and overall bigoted comments posted on an online message board under the name “Closeau.”
The discovery that Kobel spent much of his time online describing people as “animals,” “chicken wing eating,” and labeling them as “inbreeding” was underscored by the irony that he was in charge of overseeing the NYPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity division, which monitors workplace harassment claims and diversity accommodations in the police department.
Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop.
Kobel maintained that the person behind the vulgar posts made by “Closeau” on The Rant message board was not him, but put in for retirement amid the Internal Affairs investigation that uncovered evidence that this was a lie.
That investigation found him guilty of posting racist comments, lying to investigators, impeding the investigation, wrongfully divulging department information on the message board, and improperly using police equipment.
Details on the “Closeau” profile matched Kobel’s real-life background, including the dates his parents died and that he joined the NYPD in June 1992. Among Kobel’s online posts under the handle were comments calling former President Barack Obama a “Muslim savage,” deeming a Black District Attorney a “gap-toothed wildebeest” and describing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Black son as a “brillohead.”
“His misconduct was so egregious and so contradicts the values of this department that ultimate accountability was essential,” said the NYPD, according to The Times.
Though Kobel will keep his pension, his police union is crying foul that he wasn’t able to get away with an easy retirement.
“He chose to file for retirement and move on with this life, but the department sought to dismiss him instead,” said president of the Captain’s Endowment Association, Chris Monahan.
Why should he have gotten to move on with his life? What makes him so exempt from even the most minor of consequences of his own eager desire to be racist online, including using NYPD equipment to do so? Isn’t it interesting how cops seem morally opposed to the idea of accountability for their bad behavior, when they’re all on board for dropping the hammer on the people they police?